UN special envoy Alexander Downer has postponed his visit to Cyprus by 48 hours for personal reasons, informed sources told The Cyprus Daily .
The embattled envoy was due to hold talks with President Anastasiades last night but the UN in Nicosia are now trying to fix new dates for the meeting as well as that with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.
“The reason he gave for postponing his trip at the last minute was personal affairs. He will be arriving on Wednesday, he is not canceling his visit,” a source also said.
On Sunday, President Anastasiades said in an interview that the Australian diplomat’s lack of objectivity and Turkey’s internal woes do not allow for positive developments in finding a way out of the joint declaration impasse.
The joint declaration clarifying the basis of the solution for a reunited Cyprus is a precondition for the President who sees no reason of holding a dialogue for the sake of a dialogue.
Anastasiades also warned that failure to agree on a deal on the Cyprus problem could lead to the country being permanently divided.
”Talks should not resume just because one side --or the other -- are scared they will be blamed for the impasse…The basis has to be clearly defined, the Turkish Cypriot leader is disputing the sovereignty of a federal Cyprus, he talks of a two-state solution,” Anastasiades said.
He was critical of the UN’s stance on the need for a clear communiqué prior to the resumption of the peace process.
There is lack of objectivity by interlocutors, especially by Downer “that I really did not expect,” he said.
He admitted to defending Downer in the past on many occasions, but that’s a far cry from today’s situation as he is experiencing ‘unpleasant situations’.
“Unpleasant situations that do not facilitate the goal of a settlement of the Cyprus issue the soonest possible,” he added.
Hopes had been high that negotiations aiming to reunite the island would resume by the end of October, but they have stuttered over the wording of the joint statement.
Next week, Downer will brief behind closed doors the Security Council which is to renew for another six months the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus.
At the same time, Turkey’s prevailing domestic turmoil inevitably influences developments on the Cyprus problem as Ankara’s attention is now focused elsewhere.
And irrespective of how Turkey’s political landscape is shaped, whatever moves on Cyprus will be made after the country’s municipal elections in March.